Top Tips For Surviving The Pandemic And Holding Onto Hope: Part 2

He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope has everything.

Thomas Carlyle

As promised, here are three more brilliant people giving their top tips on how to endure the challenges of lockdown. Enjoy 🙂

  1. What have been your favourite activities to do during lockdown?

Stephen: Anything that allows me to switch off and live in the moment such as gardening, listening to music, cooking etc.  The lockdown has created so much uncertainty and fear so it’s good to focus on the things that nourish you. Whether that’s physically, mentally, emotionally. 

Sarah: Diamond painting, playing Switch and spending time with my daughter Poppy.

Courtney: I don’t have an awful lot of time for activities as I am still working during lockdown but from home; proud employee of the NHS in mental health services. On weekends, however, I have taken up so many creative activities. This has included doing cross-stitch, paint by numbers and reigniting my love for yoga with my best friend.

2. What is your support system like?

Stephen: I’m lucky that I have a relatively settled home life with my wife and daughter, plus I have wider family and friends I’ve made an extra effort with during the lockdown. They don’t all understand the reality of living with and managing a longer term mental health condition but there are some who have lived experience I can more easily discuss my emotional wellbeing with. I have also managed to maintain contact with my counsellor via Zoom, who I’ve build up a good relationship with over the years.

Sarah: I have fairly good support with my family. We have our moments but we get there.

Courtney: I’m lucky to have an incredible support system. My family are amazing and I’m living with my mum, dad and older brother, meaning it’s difficult to get lonely. With regards to my friends, I occasionally video call them but I have avoided group zoom calls because I don’t enjoy them. They are always there when I need them though!

3. Is there anything you’ve learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Stephen: Life is fragile and fleeting, and times like this can serve as a useful reminder of that.  So for me, it’s really reinforced my determination to use my time more wisely on the things that really matter with the people that matter most.  It’s also given me cause to stop and contemplate things a little more than I usually would.

Sarah: Yeah, not to take certain things for granted. We have no idea how quickly circumstances can change.

Courtney: It’s really sunk in how society was always moving at 100 miles per hour before the world was forced to pause. I’ve discovered that this slowing down has enabled me to realise there is actually plenty of time in the day, therefore I’ve really taken to living in the moment and being more mindful. Rather than always thinking about what I should do next

4. Tell me one positive news story, headline or moment you’ve seen that’s given you hope!

Stephen: As someone who is passionate about the environment, it’s been fantastic to see many more people beginning to question whether we really do actually want to return to ‘normal’, especially if that means the way we live continues to impact in such a negative way on the environment. It’s been incredible to discover that the lockdown has caused significant (positive) knock-on effects to the environment.

Sarah: Forth Valley (my hometown) has been COVID-19 free for 3 days now! *Please note this was written on 30th May 2020*

Courtney: ‘Nature takes back world’s city streets emptied by coronavirus outbreak’. I absolutely love this, and have certainly heard more birds tweeting recently.

5. Should somebody be experiencing a tough time, what would your advice be?

Stephen: Some people prefer not to cause a fuss and think it’s better to be stoic in times of national crisis; they think everyone else is having to cope with similar pressures so it’s better not to make a fuss. The simple truth is many other people are struggling to cope with the unprecedented times we’re all living through right now. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re having a tough time and talk to family and friends you trust. There are also plenty of support services being offered by various mental health charities and the NHS.

Sarah: Just keep battling on- it’s very tough but slowly things are starting to change.

Courtney: Remind yourself that this will not last forever. Use the time available to create healthy habits, start a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, and make yourself a routine for each day.

With a few lockdown restrictions being eased around the UK, as well as in other countries across the globe, let’s hope that this is the start of us getting some freedom back. Life has unquestionably changed massively, however I’m more than confident that we can battle through and make the best of a difficult situation!

Thanks for reading,


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